Statistics from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) has revealed UK unemployment rise to almost 2.5 million in the three months to the end of December.
This is a rise 44,000. Youth unemployment has hit a record high at 965,000. With more than one in five 16 – 24 year-olds out of work, this has resulted in a rise of 66,000.
The current unemployment rate now stands at 7.9% with youth unemployment rising at 20.5%.
Prime Minister David Cameron said that unemployment, particularly among the young, was “a matter of great regret”. He did, however, stress that it had been a problem for some time.
Unemployed people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance also increased last month to 1.46million, an increase of 2,400.
This is a reflection of people having to take part-time jobs because they could not find a full-time job, the percentage of which rose by 44,000 to 1.19million, a record high since 1992, when records began.
Economist, Vicky Redwood said: “The latest UK labour market figures provide further evidence that the jobs recovery has gone into reverse.”
Long-term unemployment also deteriorated, with 17,000 more people out of work for more than a year, to a total of 833,000.
Other data from the ONS showed that average earnings rose by 1.8% in the year to December last year, slightly down on the 2.1% growth in the year to November.
The figures also showed that unemployment fell in Scotland by 13,000, but rose in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.